The frag­mented, un­sta­ble NL wildlife di­vi­sion

The Compass - - EDI­TO­RIAL OPIN­ION -

For ex­am­ple, land recla­ma­tion should ac­com­pany min­ing; habi­tat im­prove­ment else­where should mit­i­gate flood­ing or other losses to wildlife.

Di­vi­sion re­lo­cated

In 2001 the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment or­dered the in­land fish and wildlife di­vi­sion, with its di­rec­tor of wildlife, to move to Cor­ner Brook.

Thus, of the 62 pro­vin­cial/ter­ri­to­rial and state wildlife agen­cies in Canada and the United States, New­found­land and Labrador joins only On­tario, Saskatchewan, Kansas, Ver­mont, and Rhode Is­land as those that do not have the main of­fice in or near the cap­i­tal city. Most are in the cap­i­tal city for max­i­mum ef­fec­tive­ness with elected de­ci­sion mak­ers.

The move to Cor­ner Brook pre­vents the daily per­sonal in­ter­ac­tion so ben­e­fi­cial with the power play­ers in the Con­fed­er­a­tion Build­ing, thus ham­per­ing the di­vi­sion’s po­tency. (The min­is­ters and deputy min­is­ters in the de­part­ment re­main in St. John’s.)

While the move cen­tral­ized the Wildlife Di­vi­sion’s head­quar­ters bet­ter ge­o­graph­i­cally, de­mo­graph­i­cally it did not. Its head­quar­ters in Cor­ner Brook on the west coast of New­found­land is now 687 kilo­me­tres from St. John’s on the east coast and the Avalon Penin­sula, where 50 per cent of the prov­ince’s peo­ple live.

The wildlife di­vi­sion also was re­moved from its close and ben­e­fi­cial con­tact with Memo­rial Univer­sity.

Both the book and the re­port to the premier present more com­pre­hen­sive rec­om­men­da­tions to gov­ern­ment. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment needs to take a good look at how to im­prove the or­ga­ni­za­tion and eco­nom­i­cally ef­fi­cient de­liv­ery of its valu­able wildlife pro­gram to its tax­pay­ers.

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